November 21, 2021

Air emergency: Governments flail, India gasps for breath

Shankkar Aiyar talks about two Indias- one which is waiting endlessly for the system to fix problem of air pollution and other which is taking forever to address the issue and thrives on brazen incrementalism.


Excerpts below:


"Governance by abdication is now part of the playbook of governments. Unsurprisingly, the Chief Justice of India on Wednesday observed that the ‘’bureaucracy has gone into inertia’’ and simply waits for the courts to administer. History, it is said, repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce. In the Indian context, tragedy appears in episodes as apathy reduces governance to a farce. The saga of air pollution is simply the parade of systemic failures."


"The quality of air effectively reflects the gaps in policy on the ground. Essentially, this calls for the coming together of policies and capacity creation across sectors to bring down both emissions of gases and generation of particulate material. For instance, agri waste disposal impacts farm yield but farmers need options. Why not leverage the start-up ecosystem to create backward and forward linkages?"


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